Defense Department official arrives to testify in impeachment probe

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper arrived on Capitol Hill Wednesday to testify before House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry.

Cooper, who oversees policy for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, is expected to testify about the suspension of nearly $400 million in military aid for Ukraine during a closed door session before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees.

She is expected to be grilled about why the military aid was held up as President Trump while he was calling on his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

On Tuesday, acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor told the lawmakers that he was told that Trump would not allow the aid to flow until Zelensky announced publicly that Ukraine was looking into the Bidens and corruption involving the 2016 presidential election.

His testimony, also behind closed doors, contradicted the defense put forward by Trump and other administration officials that there was no quid pro quo to force Zelensky to launch the investigation.

Cooper’s appearance before the panel is the latest in a line of current and former diplomats, including former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who testified.

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